Leesburg High School Graduate Accepted At 14 Colleges, Receives $400,000 In Scholarships, Will Attend HBCU Southern University

Rylan Castile-Henderson


LEESBURG – Rylan Castile-Henderson, a 2023 graduate of Leesburg High School (LHS) is the epitome of someone who is focused, committed, and ready to do all it takes to be successful in life.

Graduating with a 3.90 grade point average, Rylan was accepted at 14 colleges, and she received more than $400,000 in scholarships.

After she was assigned a research project on HBCUs by her AVID teacher in the 10th grade, Ryland had her mind set on attending Southern University, a Historically Black College and University(HBCU) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, “I learned so much about the school and the Nursing program’s reputation. At the time I was also in the Medical Assistant program at LHS. Nursing was a major I was considering. I felt Southern would be a good fit for my career goals and it was a HBCU which was the type of school I wanted to attend,” said Rylan, who will attend Southern University in the fall.

Rylan not only completed 900 hours of community service, but participated in community organizations such as Tri-City NAACP, where she was the treasurer of its youth council, and represented LHS on its varsity & competitive cheerleaders team for 4 years.

She’s a member of the National Honor Society, and she received the Principal’s award for securing all “A’s”. It’s important to note that Rylan accomplished these feats while holding down a job.

Is Rylan a superstar, a high achiever?  It all adds up to a resounding Yes! But positive character traits and good work ethics aren’t handed to you. Mom Rosalyn Castile remembers the times when Rylan needed that extra push to continue to press on.  “Sometimes we fought and fussed, but somehow Ryland always managed to find a way to move on to complete the task.”

There’s a Bible Scripture that states, “You reap what you sow”, which simply means before rewards there must be labor.  Who knows this better than Ryland’s Mom?  Obviously, Mom Rosslyn invested in Rylan, she encouraged her, she listened to her and they worked together to reap the rewards of Rylan becoming a successful, beautiful, intelligent young Black woman.

The payoff for Mom Rosalyn, an educator at LHS, was when she handed Rylan her diploma on stage at her graduation.  “I cannot describe the feeling.” Mom Rosalyn said.  But we know it was awesome.

Rylan and Mom Rosalyn Castile recognize and appreciate the role a strong support system played in Rylan’s successful high school experience. Rylan had a village of individuals that helped her succeed, said Mom Rosalyn, who placed Rylan’s godparents, James and Veronica Williams at the top of the list. “Rylan always had someone to correct her, someone to motivate her, someone to encourage her, and someone to hold her accountable.”

Commenting on that village of individuals who made an impact on her life, Ryland said, “I’ve been inspired by many individuals in my life.  They include family, friends, former and current teachers, and mentors. I was fortunate to always be connected to and surrounded by those who genuinely cared about me and my wellbeing. They pushed, corrected, celebrated, and encouraged me.”

“My mother was my first teacher, my biggest cheerleader, and the one I admire most in my life because of her push for me to always be prepared for life and its challenges”, Rylan revealed.

“My Godparents have also inspired me. I appreciate the time they made to support me. The death of my Godmother Veronica was a very dark period in my life. Her loss motivated me to be the best I could be to make her proud.”

Dr. Monique Griffin-Gay, Assistant Principal at LHS, said, “Rylan impressed me with her willingness to stay focused and committed.  She didn’t flip flop from day to day like some students. She was very involved and very pleasant.”

Rylan said she plans “to direct and coordinate the business activities of healthcare providers, such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, and community clinics, with the ultimate goal of enabling patients to receive better care”.

With Rylan’s support system and her commitment to stay focused there is no doubt that she will make a difference in the healthcare industry or whatever career choice she makes in the future.